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Status: Active
Registry Provider: CentralNic
Type: Generic
Priority #: 509 - Guardian News and Media Limited

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.observer is a Brand TLD being proposed in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant is Guardian News and Media Limited.[1]

Application Details

The following is excerpted from the applicant's response to question #18:

"Guardian News and Media (GNM) has chosen to apply for the TLD to provide an accessible, safe, secure, and globally recognized service for high quality, open journalism that simultaneously promotes awareness of GNM’s services and products (as associated with The Observer weekly newspaper and magazines) and facilitates the digital growth and geographic expansion of The Observer brand under the Guardian News and Media umbrella. The TLD will control and protect The Observer brands and services by providing an official digital hub for readers, information-seekers, and investors worldwide as well as fostering consumer trust by creating a secure, reliable, resilient, and technically stable zone that is renowned for excellence and innovation. The Observer’s highly distinctive, open approach to publishing on the web is part of its digital-first strategy, and the choice to apply for the TLD falls squarely within The Observer’s reputation for innovation, excellence, independence, and longevity while echoing its firm commitment to the primacy of digital technology to the future of journalism and publishing. The global deployment of the TLD in parallel with the digital expansion of the Group’s brands will therefore contribute to ICANNʹs commitment to innovation, consumer protection, security, and stability.

Founded in 1791, the Observer is the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper. It has historically known for its liberal, anti-establishment perspective as well as its focus on digital innovation. It was the first newspaper to release podcasts as well as the first newspaper to launch its own blog documenting internal decisions. After becoming part of the Guardian Media Group in 1993, the Observer has flourished and was named National Newspaper of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2007. The term “Observer” is associated with a vast array of products and services related to the Observer and they include but are not limited to: a physical Sunday newspaper (The Observer); weekly magazines (New Review, Observer Magazine, Food Monthly); news websites and web content (http:⁄⁄observer.guardian.co.uk⁄); and social media accounts and pages (on Twitter, Facebook, etc.). As a result, millions of Internet users and consumers worldwide associate the term “Observer” with the Observer, and this number is only projected to increase with the forecast expansion of the Guardian Group and its brands such as the Observer. The Observer holds Trademarks on the term “The Observer” in 9 jurisdictions worldwide, ensuring not only the protection of the brand but also its public recognition.

Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, with an office in New York, The Observer is wholly owned by the Scott Trust, which exists to protect the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian Media Group companies such as The Observer. The Groupʹs portfolio of investments, which help fund its journalism and secure its long term future, ensure that Group companies are able to continue delivering their unique brand of independent liberal journalism to a global audience. Although the media sector as a whole currently faces major challenges - of which the greatest is the ongoing transition from traditional to digital media - the Group successfully developed and implemented new business models and strategies throughout the past twelve months, allowing the Guardian and Observer and its media brands to focus on producing outstanding journalism.


The TLD will provide a digital home for information about all the previously-mentioned services as well as facilitate the future expansion of The Observer’s web presence while contributing to its environmental commitments. The Observer’s web presence currently sits within the Guardian universe; it is GNM’s goal that the deployment of the TLD will bring the Observer brand to greater digital prominence. The TLD will make the Observer digital platform more easily accessible, searchable, and locatable and will help the Observer enlarge the community of contributors by promoting and enabling user interaction. The launch of the TLD falls squarely within The Observer’s mission of empowerment, innovation and engagement and will allow the company to achieve its goals of digital innovation, outreach, and growth while reinforcing its credibility and reputation for uncompromised excellence."[2]